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1987 300TD, 2002 ML 320, 1991 500SL
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141 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Had been searching for some time for a 300D and FINALLY found one that met MOST of my requirements (Not many service records, price, and miles,were big drawbacks, but most all other "wants" were satisfied especially cold A/C!!!!!). So I purchased a 1991 300D 2.5 with a little over 265,000 miles.
While the previous owner had done some "modifications" (see pics) that I am currently removing/taken care of (Brown's Gas/Hydrogen crap, headlamps, etc) I am still very happy with the purchase only because the body and interior being in such good shape. Very minor dings, but overall the paint is in excellent condition.
The first day I had it I called in to work and began to see exactly what I had gotten myself into. Replaced motor mounts that first day, not as difficult as I thought, talked with my mechanic and confirmed that it does NOT need new power steering pump, but the horrid squeal it makes when turning is caused by a "bushing??" being dried out way up in the steering (I say "up in the steering" because he let me put it up on the lift when he squirted some lubricant to stop that squeaking). Just recieved new Lemforder ball joints as driver joint is completely shot, but since I don't have the correct Mercedes joint press tool and I don't want that spring popping off and taking my head with it, I am going to let mechanic take care of it while I watch and try to learn. Once that is done, I will be replacing front tie rods and repacking the front wheel bearings. Some new tires and it will be good to go except for the usual irritations that come with all 124s. Ex., I have a leak that collects on the passenger side floor board only when I drive in the rain. I believe it is the windshield seal.
Another plus is that I have been extremely happy with the fuel mileage on my 87 300TD (was averaging 30-32 mpg before one of my injectors started leaking), but am shocked with fuel mileage on the 1991 300D. Preliminary estimates are around 37-40 mpg, need several more tanks to get a semi accurate gauge, but still WOW and I haven't even changed the fuel filters yet.
The final pics are of the 124 family after some of the changes to get it back to original, or at least the best I can. Will keep all posted on the trials and tribulations of the latest 124 diesel acquisition. Any suggestions/thoughts or 2cents as always is welcomed and appreciated.
 

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1968 gto (sold) , 91 volvo 740, 89 $300TE, 89 560SEC
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432 Posts
Cool! A fellow Rock Hillian on the boards. I like the new addition to the family.
Looks like you have already gotten rid of the head lamps (hideous).

If you ever see a white SEC with body color penta's running around-- thats me!

John
 

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1987 300TD, 2002 ML 320, 1991 500SL
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141 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I replaced my old motor mounts with new Lemforders. When I got my TD a few years back it was one of the first things that I had replaced. I had forgotten what a huge difference it makes. The sedan literally felt like it was going to fall apart while idling because the vibration was so jarring, but after the new mounts, it has no shake much less any vibration. My mechanic told me that is one of the most noticeable differences when these are replaced that u can tell on these cars. At least for me, it made me feel much better about my purchase. As u can see from the pic, my driver side mount looked as though it had not only collapsed, but exploded. If yours have not collapsed that much u may not see the difference that I saw in mine, but I bet u will see a dramatic improvement of the way it feels at idle. Good luck and let me know what kind of improvement u see after u change yours.
 

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'04 G500, '00 E55 AMG, '90 300TE 4Matic, '82 240D
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wow, looks 1000x better with those stock headlights!
 

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1987 300TD, 2002 ML 320, 1991 500SL
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141 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I agree, those aftermarket headlights were horrible (but don't tell anyone on Ebay because that is where I am currently trying to get rid of them).
I didn't want to start a new thread but as I stated in my original post, does anyone have any ideas on what exactly is causing the horrid squeaking/squealing when I turn the steering wheel (left and right). As I said earlier, my mechanic told me but I can't exactly remember (should have written it down). I always feel like I am taking up a good amount of his time for free advice so I try to be in and out when I drop by his shop. It is not the power steering pump, although I do have a leak (believed to be a seal). While on the lift, he squirted some lubricant "up in" the steering from below, like he also did to the ball joint to put a band aid on the squealing. This was only temporary, as is has started "screaming" again. This isn't bothering me much now, but I will be replacing the ball joints shortly and then I will be driving it regularly and will not be able to do deal with the horrible noise. Any ideas, as always are greatly appreciated and thanks for the compliments on the new addition.
 

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I'm going to replace my motor mounts this or next week. My D feels like parts are going to start flying off if I don't get those new mounts on.

Do you have any suggestions? How did you do it?
 

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1987 300TD, 2002 ML 320, 1991 500SL
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141 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Bangaway, I was somewhat reluctant to attempt to change the motor mounts at first, but I was going through some old service records of when I first bought my 87 300TD and saw where I paid my former mechanic almost $500 for motor mount replacement. I spoke with my brother (who has probably forgot more about 124s than I know) and between he and my current mechanic decided to give it a go.

I may be forgetting a step, but I believe this is in the order I did it, although I can't remember the exact size of sockets used, etc.:

1. Went to Sears and bought 1/2" extension, universal joint/adapter, and I believe a 10MM hex insert.

2. On level ground, put the front end on ramps (I don't drive up the ramps because I am always worried about driving over them) by jacking one side up at the jack pads, sliding ramp underneath tire, then other side. Chock rear wheels, parking brake engaged, etc.
***There may be a way to do it without one, but I am assuming you have a jack, and I don't mean the one that comes with the car)

3. I guess you could to do both sides at same time but I was nervous anyway and didn't want to put that much pressure on the oil pan. I started with the drivers side mount as that was the one that had collapsed. Using the extension and universal joint (and I actually took out the windshield wiper reservoir-unnecessary once I bought the extension and universal joint) I loosened the top bolt (can't remember the exact size, maybe 13mm??) but didn't remove the top bolt, slid under the car (a creeper makes this much easier) and loosened the bottom hex bolt using the hex insert and didn't remove (I used a set of hex keys I had to determine the correct size).

4. At this point, with old motor mount still in but bolts loose, I then took my jack and rolled it under the engine directly below the oil pan. I took a scrap piece of 2x4 wood block and placed it on my jack to help displace some of the weight and gently raised the engine up using the jack to where the motor mount will now easily come out. ******VERY IMPORTANT**** I almost forgot, do NOT raise the engine with the jack placed in the center of the oil pan, it will crush it. Make sure you stay to one side (left/right) or the other as far you safely can when jacking the engine up.
**Also, not sure how high your jack raises but if it is like mine I had to use 2 wood blocks to get the height needed to slide the new motor mounts in. I tell you at this point because I only used one block at first and realized I didn't have the engine high enough

5. With engine up a few inches, you should be able to take the motor mount out by hand. Mine fell out. Take the new motor mount, make sure you line it up correctly with the little notch and put it in place. I hand tightened both top and bottom. Make sure you get both threaded correctly, I had a tough time with the bottom one. Once you are sure they are threaded correctly, tighted them--I made sure they were snug, then lowered the engine back down and tightened them the rest of the way

6. Follow the same steps and do the passenger side. The only difference with my car was that the passenger mount had a heat shield over it because of its proximity to the exhaust. That reminds me, I burnt the sh#t out of my arm while doing this side because I didn't let the exhaust cool down sufficiently. I did this in half the time it took to do the drivers side.

I expected this job to take several hours.... start to finish, including a trip to Sears and my mechanic took 3 hours. Actual time spent under hood/car, maybe 1.5 hours. I feel now that I could replace both in 30 minutes.

Hope this helps. Take pics and let me know how it goes.
 

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W124
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Usually the passenger side motor mount is the problem. Heat from the exhaust cooks them pretty good. Its easy to spot a bad one because it is collapsed and the metal skirt on the motor mount is resting on the frame (this is the noise you hear at idle). Changing a passenger side mount is a 10 minute job.

Regarding your noise when turning the wheel, are you sure its not the belt tensioner allowing the belt to squeal/shriek/groan?

Good luck with the new ride. I also hate those funky headlights. You got my attention with the MPG numbers too; I'm interested in hearing if you actually do get upwards of 40mpg with it.
 

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1987 300TD, 2002 ML 320, 1991 500SL
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141 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
My mechanic is AWESOME!!

Just picked up the 91 300D from mechanic. He charged me $100 to install my new driver ball joint! I did supply the new ball joint which he graciously used. I was expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 at least. Also, all the steering noises, play in the steering, and basically being all over the road have ceased. I now am a true believer and plead to all those putting it off, replace worn ball joints ASAP. Not only is it very dangerous to drive around with a worn one, but it obviously can mask many other issues as well. I am still going to replace the tie rods, pack the bearings, get new tires, and have it aligned, but for the first time since purchasing it, it was a sheer joy to drive. Thanks to all for the input and help.
 

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Still waiting for the mounts to arrive. Autohaus has a really good deal-- I think they were about $66 each for the Lemfoeders.
 
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